V/A - OVER THE EDGE, Volume 1 (1993)
"In 1993 a well known but troubled label called Endless Fight released a 14 song compilation with some of the groups that were playing frequently along the Northern East Coast of the US. You would have either seen their name in a zine or read it on a flyer at one time or another. Many releases from this label were pretty damn solid but I believe that it eventually folded in on itself for reasons that I can’t really remember. Regardless Vol 1 of this compilation turned me on to many great New England and other area new comers.
A few standout tracks would be; Shift who played a nice rock influenced brand of Quicksandy hardcore whose female drummer went on to play in Hole & Motley Crue I think. Their track is actually one of their heavier ones from their back catalog as it wasn’t too often you would hear them bust out a break down like in the middle of this track. Jasta 14 features a very young Jamey Hatebreed on vocals (or as you could have guess, Jamey Jasta). This was a great track and I’m regretting not being able to locate my Jasta 14 demo these days. Overcast as you know went on to turn a lot of heads with their early brand of metallic hardcore. Mayday as well was a great sample of a band ahead of their time. The Converge track is from early on and you can hear a big difference in their approach. Vocally Mr. Bannon seems to be going for a bit more of a Starkweather feel. Dive would round out this comp with more of their brutal take on music. All in all this compilation served its purpose by turning this young kid onto many new and exciting bands of this time." (from Coregasm)
I had bought this tape from Trash American Style in Danbury, CT. Trash was THE store for the area, having had a relationship with Revelation records in its early New Haven days and having a lot to do with the local scenes spanning most of Connecticut and southern New York. They also had a close connection with a certain, notorious GG Allen, releasing some of his "work" and a bunch of his videos (yuck). Unfortunately it seems thay have closed due to some landlord issues, but nonetheless, it was the best store I had ever known. It ran on a barter system as well as a cash system, though they preferred barter. They sold old and new records, books, and other assorted things. They had a very impressive collection of rare records that I have yet to see the likes of again and they had the coolest people int he world working there. I even met Ray Cappo once while shopping there. He was a cool guy who I had previously met at the Tune Inn in New Haven, and it was funny that Trash was one of his favorite stores too. Well, Trash always kept local things at the desk, and they had this tape there, from Endless Fight Records. I had not really heard of any of these bands at the time, but the price was right and I had some credit from my recent barter (I probably sold back a bunch of records I regret selling now, ce'st la vie) so I picked up the tape figuring that hardcore comps were usually pretty good and you could easilly sample new bands...
Well, agreeing with the above quote from COREGASM, i have to say I liked all those same songs the most. I do have to add a few things though. The Shift song was my favorite, and shortly after, they released their Pathos EP on Equal Vision which became legendary. Though Shift was known for their "Quicksandyness" it is very unapparent on this version of No Avail. This version sounds like they are tough asses thudding you with chunky breakdowns and misanthropic vocals about being stabbed int he back. Overall this is laughable, cuz Shift was anything but tough, but so it goes, good tough ass song. Jasta 14 song is great, I never liked Hatebreed, but Jasta did good work with this band. This was the first I heard Overcast, and I have to say, I like my metal and they were pretty much straight on metal. I have to agree with Proven Hollow that I liked Brian Fairs vocals, and even like some of his thrashier work with Shadows Fall, but the real gem was the Overcast LP, Fight Ambition to Kill. Great metal record that I really need to have again. I think you can order it still from Edison distro. Anyway, this song kicks, the sample at the beginning is amazing, Dennis Hopper, I think, "I'll send ya a love letter.... Sraight from my Heart Fucker! You know what a love letter is? Its a bullet from a FUCKIN GUN! FUCKER. You get a love letter from me... yer FUCKED FOREVER! YOU UNDERSTAND FUCK?! I'LL SEND YA STRAIGHT TA HELL, FUCKER!!". The end of the song is nice and Sludgy too. Mayday song rocks, I need more from this group too. Good tough hardcore. Of course the Converge song is classic, Divinity, one of my favorite songs from the Halo In a Haystack LP. And I have to add that the two Dissolve songs are both Sludgy kick you in the face songs that are unreasonably heavy for their time. They were from Poughkeepsie, NY and didnt do much besides this and 7". The rest of the songs are okay, but you can pass them by... the good ones are really good though, and bring back tons of memories...
1. Shift - No Avail
2. Jasta 14 - Broken Records
3. Overcast - As a Whole
4. Mayday - Arcane Eye
5. Time's Expired - Total Awareness
6. Malachi Krunch - I'm De Kat
7. Dissolve – Wire
8. Dissolve – Ambition
9. Frostbite – Traditions
10. Alert – Penance (That Song)
11. Converge – Divinity
12. Age of Reason – Portrait
13. In-Line – I Survive
14. Dive – Now They Run / The Water Drove Her Crazy